NH’s Community Colleges: Overview of Tuition and Plans for Financial Resource Allocation and Shared Services Accounting

The purpose of this document is to outline changes the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) is making in three key areas: tuition, internal allocation of state funding, and shared services between the seven community colleges. These three areas are key to our ongoing work on financial sustainability and reflect strategic priorities directed by the CCSNH Board of Trustees.  

How much revenue our colleges raise from tuition, how the state appropriation is allocated within our system to the seven colleges, and the ways we seek and fund efficiencies through shared and centralized services, are interdependent components of CCSNH’s fiscal capacity.  

Changes to Academic Year (AY) 2017-18 tuition rate, as well as to the allocation of the state appropriation within CCSNH, and to our shared expenses model are all part of a comprehensive recommendation that supports broader work towards financial sustainability. Most importantly, these changes support the CCSNH mission of student access and success. Taken together, these changes allow for a sustainable financial “bottom-line” that allows us to best support students and the state, as expressed in our 65 by 25 vision. These changes will also bring greater clarity, internal fairness, transparency and methodological soundness to CCSNH.

65 By 25: Achieving Economic Prosperity Through Post-Secondary Education 

According to projections by researchers at Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, 68 percent of jobs in New Hampshire will require educational attainment beyond high school by 2020. However, present trajectories indicate that far less than 68 percent of New Hampshire’s workforce will reach that educational bar if the state does act to make it happen.

The Community College System of NH has introduced 65 by 25, a goal to help ensure that 65 percent of adults 25 and older in New Hampshire will have some form of post-secondary education, from certificates to advanced degrees, by 2025. Achieving this goal moves New Hampshire much closer to the target cited in national research and positions New Hampshire to support a strong future economy.

The failure to reach that goal will harm the state’s ability to retain, attract and grow business, and will have long-term effects on the state’s economy and quality of life.

The challenges to increase the percentage of adults in New Hampshire with post-secondary education includes a declining number of educated adults moving into the state, declining numbers of students in the K-12 systems over the next decade, a high percentage of high school graduates who leave the state to attend college and a well-educated population that is aging out of the workforce.

CCSNH has made 65 by 25 a central part of the system’s strategic plan and is committed to working closely with industry and education partners to reach this goal. 65 by 25 is critical if New Hampshire is going to maintain positive economic indicators, including low unemployment and high per capita income, and ensure that the next generation of Granite Staters has the chance to improve on the foundation it inherited.

Data collected and processed – presented in Whitepaper format downloadable below – makes clear the need for the successful implementation of 65 by 25. It also includes a CCSNH Scorecard that will be a road map to 65 by 25.

An Economic Impact Study

The Community College System of New Hampshire has a significant economic impact within the state. This impact can be seen both through traditional valuations related to employment and institutional expenditures, as well as through the effect of a population with greater postsecondary education and skills that support economic growth.

By strengthening its alignment of programs with the needs of the state’s economy in every region of NH, bending the cost curve of higher education and serving a broad demographic that includes recent high school graduates as well as adults seeking college and career training, CCSNH brings tremendous and quantifiable return on investment to the state’s taxpayers.

CCSNH continues to define its value by improving college affordability for NH residents by partnering with K-12, other colleges and universities and NH industries to create pathways to economic advancement. Community Colleges froze tuition in four of the last nine years and even reduced tuition costs for the 2014-15 academic year. High school students in NH can get a jump start on college through dual enrollment programs through CCSNH, and find pathways that enable them to earn degrees affordably and conveniently by starting at a local community college before transferring to a college in the University System of NH or other four-year institution.

Findings from the Economic Impact Study – presented in Whitepaper format downloadable below – demonstrate the role of CCSNH as a partner in important efforts to ensure a bright economic future for NH.

The Two New Hampshires – What does it mean?

There has been significant mention in studies and reports of “Two New Hampshires,” differing from one another in demographic and economic indicators. New Hampshire’s southeastern counties are economically linked to the Boston metropolitan area because of proximity, shared labor market and industry connections. The more rural northern and western NH counties differ significantly with their own set of demographic and economic indicators. The “Two New Hampshires” present challenges and also opportunities to strategically focus efforts to support a strong, economically vibrant state.

The differing factors of rural and metro New Hampshire are suggestive to those of us concerned with economic development and the role of postsecondary institutions in the state. The data – presented in Whitepaper format downloadable below – shows important differences between rural and metro NH. It also suggests that different approaches to economic development and education in the two regions are needed.